Sabine Doran
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Sabine Doran

Sabine Doran

Associate Professor of German and Jewish Studies

20th- and 21st-century German literature; film studies and visual culture

243 Burrowes Bldg.


  1. Ph.D. Free University of Berlin, Comparative Literature, 2004
  2. Visiting Researcher, Stanford University, Comparative Literature, 1997-99
  3. DAAD Exchange Student, Stanford University, Comparative Literature, 1996-97
  4. M.A. Philipps-University, Marburg, German Literature (Minors: Film Studies and Philosophy), 1993


Sabine Doran specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century German literature and culture, film and film theory, media studies, art history, and Jewish studies. She pursued her doctoral studies at Stanford University (Visiting Researcher 1996-1999) and at the Free University of Berlin (Ph.D., 2004). She has taught at Oberlin College (2003-04) and at the University of California, Riverside (2004-14), where she was Director of the German Program.

Her first book, The Culture of Yellow, or, The Visual Politics of Late Modernity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), explores the cultural significance of the color yellow, showing how its psychological and aesthetic value marked and shaped many of the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of late modernity. It contends that yellow functions during this period primarily as a color of stigma and scandal.

Her work traces the relation between literature and the visual arts (film, painting, video, plastic art), in terms of the genetic and figural connections between aesthetics, politics, and history, as can be seen in her recent articles: “The Aesthetics of Postcolonial Cinema in Raoul Ruiz’s Three Crowns of the Sailor” (Postcolonial Cinema, Routledge, 2012); “Writing van Gogh through Francis Bacon: Mayroecker’s Non-Human Aesthetics” (Gegenwartsliteratur, 2011); and “Synaesthesia in European Film Theory” (European Film Theory, Routledge, 2009). She is currently working on a book on synaesthesia.

Professor Doran teaches courses on film theory, representing the Holocaust, world cinema, Berlin, world literature, as well as courses on German literature and culture.

Current and Recent Courses:

  • GER 420 Berlin’s Short Stories

  • GER 440 The Holocaust in Literature and Film

Recent Publications:

  • The Culture of Yellow, or, The Visual Politics of Late Modernity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)
  • Die Ambivalenz des Gelben und die Kunst des Skandals,” in: Erkenntniswert Farbe (The Cognitive Value of Color), ed. Margrit Vogt and André Karliczek (Berlin: Ripperger & Kremers), forthcoming 2014.
  • Im Kulminieren zerschellen: Ein Gegenentwurf zum Gesamtkunstwerk in Hans Henny Jahnns Perrudja,” in:“Es ist seit Rahel und erlaubt, Gedanken zu haben, ed. Steven R. Huff and Dorothea Kaufmann (Wuerzburg: Koenigshausen & Neumann, 2012): 207-229.
  • The Aesthetics of Postcolonial Cinema in Raoul Ruiz’s Three Crowns of the Sailor,” in: Postcolonial Cinema Studies, ed. Sandra Ponzanesi and Marguerite Waller, (New York: Routledge, 2012): 143-156.
  • Writing van Gogh and Francis Bacon, Mayroecker’s New Gesamtkunstwerk,” Gegenwartsliteratur: A German Studies Yearbook 10 (2011): 116-138.
  • Synaesthesia in European Film Theory,” in: European Film Theory, ed. Temenuga Trifonova,(New York: Routledge, 2009): 240-254.
  • Chronos/Chroma: Yellow Figures in Proust’s La Prisonnière and Bely’s Petersburg.” The Comparatist 28 (2004): 53-75.
  • The Temporality of Short Fiction and the Yellow Nineties,” in: Tale, Novella, Short Story: Currents in Short Fiction. Eds. Wolfgang Görtschacher and Holger Klein (Tübingen: Stauffenberg, Studies in English and Comparative Literature, Vol. 20, 2004): 81-89.